By Stephen Lackey

Let’s start off with what we know: COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the way businesses operate. The manufacturing and production processes have changed, the sales strategy has changed, the need for leads has changed, and so many other changes have hit the manufacturing industry.

With the lack of conferences and tradeshows where you can display your products, the need for digital marketing—specifically email marketing—has skyrocketed. In this article, we will dive into a COVID-19 email impact report, with a focus on how to improve your manufacturing company’s email marketing.

Blocking and Tackling: Sending Emails

As evident in the COVID-19 Email Marketing Impact Report, we know there is a major need for effective email marketing. And one thing I want to ensure we all have an understanding of is this: Get emails out the door.

Oftentimes, we hear about the rounds and rounds of revisions (and the content that becomes obsolete prior to even getting sent), or companies not knowing what to say or how to say it. This is the key time at your company to streamline your processes and tell the story of how your product solves the pain points for your customers and prospects.

The Next Step: Send Relevant Content

Rarely do I allow an email to go out the door to everyone in the database. Let me back up—an email never goes out the door to the entire database. For holiday emails and major company announcements, the email can go out to 99 percent of the database (the other one percent are those folks on your suppression lists).

Download Our COVID-19 Email Marketing Impact Report

You should always be segmenting your email lists to provide relevant information to the recipient. It’s not uncommon to have 5-6 (or sometimes more) email lists for a single email message. Segmentation should take into consideration lead data such as:

  • Products they have previously purchased
  • Premium content pieces they’ve downloaded
  • Their lifecycle stage
  • Other criteria that would be relevant

That’s not to say that you can’t modify the theme of the message to multiple groups—you should! But you should not be sending a new product marketing email to a customer with the tone of “make your first purchase.”

Have Products on Hand? Let Your Prospects Know

The manufacturing industry, as well as others, have been hit especially hard with supply chain logistics due to COVID-19. This puts a product in hand (and ready to ship) at a premium.

If you have products that are in demand, make sure your email subject lines have very specific calls to actions and create a sense of urgency. This is not to say you should have six exclamation points or all capital letters in your subject line, but “In Stock Now” emails perform well for those with a high need for a specific in-demand product.

Lead Nurtures Are Your Friend

If you’re using HubSpot or any other marketing automation tool, ensure you’re getting the full value of automation. Consider creating a workflow that will resonate with a known lead who visited one of your product pages by sending them relevant content about that product (maybe you have it in stock!) or a complimentary product.

The emails don’t necessarily have to be a hard sale, but they should provide additional information about the product. You could even set a workflow to introduce a sales team member if a lead visits a Contact Us/Request a Quote page, but doesn’t complete the form.

What’s great about email marketing is that it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it approach. All of your emails should be evaluated after they have been sent, to see what content resonated with the audience, and then optimized for future sends and marketing content.

COVID-19-Email-Marketing-Impact-Report-cover

Check out a few email strategies we executed during the first three months of COVID-19 in our

COVID-19 Email Marketing Impact Report

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Stephen Lackey

About the author

Stephen Lackey is an Inbound Marketing Manager out of Charlotte, NC. His background is hyperfocused on marketing and sales enablement, working at Fortune 500 companies, startups, and other industry disruptors. His marketing degree is paired with an MBA where Stephen seeks to uncover the 'why behind the why' within marketing data to drive top line revenue. Read more articles by Stephen Lackey.

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